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336       HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

thinking about the changes necessary to make education more
efficient in the production of good citizens, and led to the task
of educational reconstruction being committed to Friederich
Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835). The choice of von
Humboldt was in every way a happy one. At once a great scholar
and a great man, he brought to his task fresh thoughts and
generous ideals of life, inspired partly by acquaintance with the
Kantian philosophy, partly by an enthusiastic study of the litera-
ture and institutions of ancient Greece. He was appointed director
of Public Instruction in 1808, and, though he only held office for
eighteen months, he succeeded in leaving his mark on every
department of education.

One of his first achievements was the establishment of a new
university in Berlin with the help of Fichte and Schleiermacher.
" The foundation of this university in the year of Prussia's
greatest misery ... the voting of 22,500 per annum for the
purpose of the new university and the Academy of Science and
Arts, when a crushing war tax hung over the country [and]
. . . the necessaries of life [were] at famine prices, was an act
as heroic as the great deeds on the battlefield."* Berlin uni-
versity was not intended to be a mere addition to the number
of existing universities but was created to embody a new con-
ception of university work. The main emphasis was laid on
scientific research rather than on teaching and examining; and
with this in view the professors appointed were chosen for their
capacity to make original contributions to the furtherance of
learning. The university, moreover, was granted full liberty to
manage its own affairs in regard both to studies and administration.
"The State," said von Humboldt, " should not look to the uni-
versities for anything that directly concerns its own interests,
but should rather cherish a conviction that in fulfilling their
real function, they will not only serve its purposes but serve them
on an infinitely higher plane. . . affording room to set in motion
much more efficient springs and forces than are at the disposal
of the State itself."f

The secondary schools were reformed by von Humboldt and
his immediate successors in the same liberal spirit. A certain
number of the old grammar schools were singled out as gymnaden

* J. T. Merz, European Thought on the Nineteenth Century, i, 38 n.
t Paulsen, German Education, English translation, p. 186.